We’ve already reviewed two of Philips’ G-Line and P-Line, 27” monitors on FoS. For those searching for something more in line with something more affordable that doesn’t cost the price of a reasonably priced gaming rig, Philips also has their E-Line monitors in their ever expanding catalogue of monitors. The Philips E-Line 234E5 is a 23” monitor with a ‘frameless’ panel and slim build, but does it compare to the previously reviewed Philips G-Line 272P4 and Philips P-Line 272P4?
Build and Design
Unlike what we’ve seen from the two previous monitors mentioned above, the Philips 234E5 follows more of a conventional design and setup. Gone is the adjustable, swivel stand that made them stand out from the crowds, and we’re left with the standard, connect-and-use, rounded stand. That isn’t to say, though, that Philips has abandoned all sense of design from the 234E5, but rather something much simpler, while still being elegant. The stand still allows for some tilt, being able to bend -5 to 20°. The monitor now has frameless border surround the LCD panel. (Frameless in a sense that the borders are as thin as you’d like them to be). The 234E5 is finished in black plastic (there is a rarer white version, which we received for review, also available if you’re going for the old school look) and includes a host of connectivity options for your choosing. Although plastic, the finish is anything, but cheap. Instead, the brushed metal details of the frame enhance the look and feel of the unit. The end result is something that doesn’t come across as plasticky at all. The frame itself is quite thin in comparison to the previous monitors reviewed, measuring just 213mm. It is powered by an external power supply (similar to those on laptop cables), which make it possible to achieve the slim finish. The rear of the monitor also has a VESA 100 mount.
As mentioned earlier, there are a number of connectivity options to use. These interfaces include VGA, and x2 HDMI, the second of which includes MHL support for connecting your mobile device. There is also a pair of 5W, stereo speakers included on the 234E5 for convenience. To operate, the 234E5 has a set of standard, menu buttons, which are hidden beneath the front bezel.
Display and Performance
The 234E5 has an IPS panel that provides good image quality. It’s this IPS panel that also affords the unit its extended viewing angles. The 23” monitor has a 1920x1080px resolution at a pixel density of 96ppi, which isn’t bad at all. The images are clear, along with good colour reproduction. The 5ms response time means that there is a high enough frame rate viewing videos, with no flicker to speak of.
There is, however, one aspect of the display that doesn’t live up to Philips’ usual high standards, that being the lack of brightness and contrast. Under certain conditions, the display feels dim, even at maximum brightness. One would assume that a lack of brightness would be negated when viewing darker imagery, but the lack of contrast also adds to the disappointment. Night-time viewing reveals slight greys when viewing blacks.
The Philips 234E5 is an excellent monitor for daily use, providing a number of connectivity choices for your convenience, without needing to get your hands on third party adapters. While promising, the biggest disappointment is the display quality under different scenarios, the most notable that of the lack of contrast. On the other end, the unit does reproduce good colours.
The unit is yet to be priced locally, but assumptions are between R2,000 and R2,500. There are many competing monitors in this price range, and the 234E5 will do well to keep its own in an increasingly ruthless market. If you’re looking for a monitor with improved display quality, there are a few options out there, but the amount of included interfaces still make it a good buy.